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Pomp & Circuitry

  • Original Air Date:
    September 19, 2010
  • Written by:
    Jackson Publick
  • Production Number:
    48
  • Rate This Episode:

    • Worst. Episode. Ever.
    • It Was Pretty Crappy
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Jump To: Summary | Capsule | Notes
All-time score of 4.0 with 249 votes

Summary

Hank and Dean finally graduate from their learning beds. But what's next? College? The army? Life on the outside sees the boys taking two very different career paths -- and one of them leads straight to the Phantom Limb..

Capsule

Remember learning beds? Hank and Dean sleep as their grandfather rattles off facts and solves math problems. Oh but what's this? Seems their progressive electronic cross-disciplinary educational journey is complete! Time for college! That was easy.

Hank wakes up and asks what's up. He has no idea since he's been wearing ear plugs and sleeping in the bed the wrong way. Smart, perhaps. Actually, now that you mention it, where is Hank's diploma anyway?

Opening credits logo.

Remember the Council of Thirteen? Okay, good. Well they're having a discussion about replacing Councilman 8 since his screen is empty. Mind you, he's not gone, he's just stuck to Councilman 3. So they just need that screen filled out.

Deep below the councilmen is a familiar face. Uh, I mean, remember Phantom Limb? He's in his cell talking to Wisdom, who appears to be all patched up. Phantom Limb, it would seem, isn't so lucky as he is missing not only his prosthetic leg and arm but also his normally invisible but still attached and alive other arm and other leg. Two guards walk in and take Wisdom from him and leave. The guard carrying Wisdom takes him to a massive archival room and places him in Phantom Limb's filing cabinet.

PHANTOM LIMB
Hear me, my special friends. Come to me. Avenge me!

Phantom Limb's drawer pops open and... Lady Nightshade... comes out. And then Chuck. A bunch of folders pop out after them

PHANTOM LIMB
Yeees. Just like we planned.

We see the files burning in Chuck. The smoke sets of the fire alarm and the guards rush in. One of them immediately falls down and the other steps over him to see what's going on. Behind him Lady Nightshade flies into him, hitting him in the mouth. She falls in front of the tripped guard, who looks extremely confused right before he gets kicked in the face. The other guard goes to I guess shoot at the shoe but his gun is empty. Startled he looks over at Chuck who is heating up the magazine. We see only Phantom Limb's grinning face as we hear gunshots and a screaming guard.

In his cell the door lock sparks and the door opens. We hear only some clumping and dragging sounds and then two popping sounds. Phantom Limb notes that it's good to have his two friends back and he stands, his leg and arm lighting up. Ohhh!

Watch and Ward, in spite of having a screen devoted to watching Phantom Limb are more concerned with a huge bug that's gotten into their little red room.

Back in the archival room Chuck and Lady Nightshade have apparently made the ultimate sacrifice.

PHANTOM LIMB
Yes it was unfortunate that they had to be sacrificed, Wisdom, but don't blame yourself, your plan was brilliant! A work of art! All it needs now, is a signature.

Phantom Limb is rooting through some files and pulls out a familiar photo.

The Council of Thirteen, meanwhile, have come up with a plan on what days Red Mantle and Dragoon should be in which screen... oh also there's poop on the floor for some reason. Gross.

Meanwhile Hank and Dean are getting guidance from their guidance councilor. Billy.

DEAN
What's a guidance councilor?

BILLY
Usually it's a guy you barely know who gives you career advice even though his career is guidance councilor. And sometimes he helps you get into college.

HANK
I don't wanna go to college!

BILLY
Well, it's not for everybody. That's why we're doing this, to determine what individual path is right for you. So, uh, what'd you put down?

HANK
[clears throat] Number one, drifter.

BILLY
Alright, okay, that's not really a career, Hank, it's like the opposite of a career.

HANK
Ah, but you don't need to go to college to be one, right? 'Cause you just get paid to walk around all day and read sexy letters. Like the guy in Red Shoe Diaries.

BILLY
He wasn't a drifter. That guy's getting all his mail, that implies a fixed address.

HANK
Okay fine, then like David 'The Hulk' Banner.

BILLY
Well, David Banner's real name is actually Doctor David Bruce Banner. So he's a scientist.

HANK
Ew. Then... I don't wanna be that.

BILLY
Well what's your second choice?

HANK
Owner and operator of a chimp Eden.

BILLY
Okay. Well, that's barely saner, but for that we're three, four years of veterinary school minimum, and that's on top of a bachelor's degree.

HANK
Aww! Scratch that one too! Man, way to ruin Chimp Eden.

BILLY
[looking at Hank's list] Okay, uh, you made a mistake here. You wrote Batman twice.

HANK
Nu-uh, that's intentional. Number three is Golden Age Batman and number four is post-Crisis Batman. They're like two completely different Batman.

After a brief discussion about gladiators (where Hank describes Dean's favorite kind as 'gaylord') Billy gives up and switches to Dean. However Dr. Venture walks in and notices that Dean has somehow left super scientist off his list! Imagine that! Dr. Venture tells them to get ready because they're going to check out college! Hank, of course, refuses and Billy asks if he can have a moment with Dr. Venture. The boys leave and Billy explains that the boys are pathetically unprepared for adulthood. Neither of them know a thing about the real world and most of what they've been learning is not even current or relevant in some cases! Also, what college is going to take transcripts from a talking bed! Especially since Hank apparently didn't graduate! Uh oh.

Upstairs Hank is packing his bags:

HANK
I am not going to college!

DR. VENTURE
Darn tootin, you're not! Because you're getting right back in that bed until you graduate, mister!

HANK
No, father, I'm going to a place where you and your crummy bed can't tell me what to do any more!

DR. VENTURE
Oh what is this? Are you fake running away again? Well don't expect your brother to sneak food out to your tent in the back yard this time because he's going to college!

HANK
Well bully for him, because I'm joining the army!

SGT. HATRED
Hot dog! Best decision you'll ever make, son! Why I look back on my time-

HANK
Not that army, sergeant butt-kiss!

Remember Baron Underbheit? I know, right? Well he's sitting outside of Impossible Industries with Manservant (on a related note: remember Impossible Industries and Manservant?) lamenting what has happened to them. Next to them a homeless veteran babbles and next to him a familiar, bearded man sits holding a very nicely lettered cardboard sign. An Impossible Industries security guard walks over to them and tells them to clear out. He grabs the third man who amazingly turns out to be Phantom Limb, which of course ends with his demise. And then the theft of his clothes.

Inside the building Phantom Limb enters Professor Impossible's office which is littered with, uh, Professor Impossible.

Phantom Limb notes that Prof. Impossible is kind of insane now and, well, he's been busy storing his pee in jars I guess. Prof. Impossible doesn't seem to know who Phantom Limb is, though he eventually realizes. Phantom Limb has a partnership proposal in mind, like back in the days of the Boys Brigade.

PHANTOM LIMB
I need you to make another one... of these. [he rolls up his sleeve]

PROF. IMPOSSIBLE
You're- you're not holding- there's nothing there, I don't [Phantom Limb's arm lights up] Ohh! Oh, you've got an invisible- that's neat. You know, Sally could turn visi- [he begins to sob]

PHANTOM LIMB
Oh yes, yes. I share your pain, old friend, I too have suffered terrible losses this year! It nearly broke me but instead it only strengthened my resolve! Join me!! And I can do the same for you.

PROF. IMPOSSIBLE
But- but you're all evil. I can't be a... bad guy.

PHANTOM LIMB
Is it really such a stretch?

Just then the window behind them explodes and none other than Dr. Phineas Phage! Phage demands that Impossible comes out and fights him because he's been sulking for months and, well, what else is an arch supposed to do? Phantom Limb, now in costume, springs up from behind Impossible's desk and demands that Phage leave as Impossible requested. Phage is first upset that Phantom Limb is arching his arch, but then realizes that Limb is not even supposed to be out! He quickly rushes off (his mechanical legs make a sweet propeller) to tell the Guild what's up.

Phantom Limb knows that if Phage tells the Guild then he's screwed so he quickly uses Richard as a catapult and, uh, catapults himself towards Phage. He grabs him mid-air and they spin out of control. Phage calls to his Pro-teens (or maybe just Proteins) to help him but they just watch dumbly. Phantom Limb eventually forces Phage to fly back into the Impossible Industries building sign (as Underbheit watches) and they both crash to the street. However before he meets his death Phantom Limb is caught by Professor Impossible. How nice!

PROF. IMPOSSIBLE
Alright, Hamilton, you've got yourself a partner.

Meanwhile Hank is at SPHINX headquarters.

HANK
Alright, fellas, I'm all yours. Where do I sign up?

SPHINX!

Commercial.

Hank attempts to get someone's attention but they're preoccupied with Brock's situation. Brock is trapped in some kind of dungeon or something with a rookie SPHINX agent who he's not too happy with. The agent attempts to override a lock but only ends up locking he and Brock in the room they're in. Then the Swiss Guard shows up! Hunter starts working on getting Brock an exit but instead a frustrated Hank throws his bag into a plug, knocking it out and apparently all of the power in SPHINX HQ. They need to talk to Dr. Venture about that wiring or perhaps consider purchasing some kind of backup generator.

Oh, did I mention the Swiss Guard is comprised of huge gorillas? They surround Brock, who doesn't look very happy with the situation.

Back at SPHINX HQ Hunter berates Hank for killing the power and maybe Brock.

HUNTER
What in god's name do you want!

HANK
I wanna join up with you guys!

HUNTER
Yeah? Well my boot wants to join up with your ass, and I'm about to throw 'em a shotgun wedding! Now beat it! This ain't a honeycomb-fucking-hideout and we're not hiring junior g-men.

HANK
I dare you to find someone more qualified than me! I've been training under Brock my entire life! I've traveled to every continent on the globe, including Atlantis and outer space and Brigadoon! I've been shot at, poisoned, stabbed, cudgeled, crocodiled, king cobraed, red anted, you name it, and I'm still standing! Now if that's not the resume of a top-notch superkiller secret agent, then I don't know what is.

A SPHINX agent starts to slow clap and Hunter throws his phone at his head. He then relents, telling Shoreleave to get Hank suited up. Well that wasn't so hard.

Meanwhile Dean and Dr. Venture are at State University. Dean is decked out in school gear in spite of it being spring or summer. Dr. Venture notes that it's just how it was when he left, uh, except for that one huge building which looks to have been recently donated by General Consolidated Insurance, Brisby Corp and Impossible Industries. In fact Roy Brisby himself is finishing up his speech at the dedication of the building. The college president appears to be wrapping up the ceremony, noting that he thanks Prof. Impossible even though he couldn't be there. Just then Professor Impossible's jet lands right by them!

He briefly converses with the president and then runs off to the bathroom (after Phantom Limb tells him to keep it together, but from where?). Impossible checks all the stalls and gives the all-clear, at which point Phantom Limb walks out from inside of Prof. Impossible.

PROF. IMPOSSIBLE
[noticing the cuts on his face and terrible haircut] Ham gravy! What did you do to my head?

PHANTOM LIMB
Well you try cutting hair made of living rubber with only one good arm and an invisible one at that. [sighs] Okay, you go deliver your speech and we'll rendezvous back here in- are you coming? What's wrong now?

PROF. IMPOSSIBLE
[holding his stomach] Nothing. I thought I needed to poop, but it was just you in there.

Back at SPHINX HQ Hank is now back to Classic Hank thanks to Shoreleave and I guess SPHINX regulations:

We zoom out a little (after Hank and Shoreleave's brief conversation about shaving a Batman logo into his head) to reveal that Hank has been tied to his chair by Hunter. First test! Hunter and Shoreleave exit, saying that they can finally get some work done, but then Hank is behind then, holding up the rope. Like he hasn't been tied up a million times.

How about a montage?





Dean and Dr. Venture are now conversing with the dean of admissions, Dean Harris, who Dean learns has the title dean, not the name. Harris excuses himself, noting the huge pile of applications on his desk, and saying that he can't find Dean's application. Dr. Venture notes that they didn't actually apply since Dean is a 'legacy admission'.

DEAN HARRIS
So, uh, where'd you go to high school young Dean?

DEAN
Ohh! I was-

DR. VENTURE
The boy is home schooled.

DEAN
I have an electric grandpa bed that talks to me while I sleep.

DR. VENTURE
[surprised] Ha ha! Did I mention he's a legacy? I was here in the 80s you might wanna look it up.

DEAN HARRIS
Did you graduate?

DR. VENTURE
Well, not right away, but I did receive an honorary degree.

DEAN HARRIS
Not from here.

DR. VENTURE
Well, no- it's from a small, uh, rather exclusive, uh, uh, Tijuana- look, you and I both know how this really works! My father pumped a fortune into this place back in the day, so why don't you let the boy in and we can call it squarsies.

DEAN HARRIS
Dr. Venture, while it's true your father was rather generous to the university-

DR. VENTURE
Generous?! He donated an entire wing!

DEAN HARRIS
Which you blew up, if I recall.

DR. VENTURE
Allegedly! And his estate paid for it out of my inheritance, so really it's like I gave you the money.

DEAN HARRIS
Riiiight. Well, it was a pleasure to meet you, Dean. I wish you much success with your future academic career, wherever it may be.

DR. VENTURE
That's it?! If you were gonna jerk us around like this then why the hell did you even agree to see us?

DEAN HARRIS
Honestly?

DR. VENTURE
That would be a nice change of pace!

DEAN HARRIS
Because when my secretary told me a Dr. Venture was here to see me, I thought she meant your brother.

Ouch. Back outside Prof. Impossible is making his speech, saying that he hasn't done any public speaking in a while and he's kind of unprepared. Far away, but still in view of the new building are some Guild Strangers with robotic Diamond Dogs. They hold out some cloth for the dogs to sniff and they run off towards the campus.

Inside a big storage space Phantom Limb is rooting through some crates when he pulls out plans for something. His happiness with finding it is interrupted by the Diamond Dogs who surround him and the stop. They all look upwards and project something from their eyes. It's Sovereign! Phantom Limb is very sick of all of this and is starting his own damned Guild. Sovereign gives him one last chance to surrender, but Phantom Limb refuses and instead throws a piece of equipment at the projection. That always works. The Diamond Dogs resume kill mode and pounce Phantom Limb.

Back outside Prof. Impossible is continuing his horrible speech when Phantom Limb, now dressed in his costume, hops past everyone, screaming for Prof. Impossible to help him.

Back at SPHINX HQ Hank is still undergoing testing as Brock and the mysterious rookie walk in. Brock is, again, pretty fed up with the rookie, but Hunter and Shoreleave assure him that he'll soon have a new partner. He's in the thing behind them right now in fact. Oh, that's the mind eraser. This could be bad. Hank steps out of the mind eraser but he doesn't seem to have forgotten much of anything. Oh, it's because he put some tinfoil on his head to nullify the mind eraser. Pass, right?

Meanwhile Phantom Limb rushes into the new building followed quickly by the Diamond Dogs. Guild operatives come into sight and surround him as well. In a last ditch effort to escape Phantom Limb jumps up and grabs one of the Diamond Dogs (who are also rocket powered) and shorts it out with his death hand which allows him to pilot it around and make its eyes fire lasers. Outside Prof. Impossible attempts to distract everyone by saying that it's just the fireworks he ordered.

Inside the battle continues. Some super huge Guild robots show up and blow some stuff up. Phantom Limb flies around a bunch getting shot at (but never hit of course) until he causes some of the ceiling to collapse on various Guild members. He rushes the last giant robot. Outside Prof. Impossible is now distracting the crowd by stretching himself into the shape of a flag (this blocking the window behind him) and singing the national anthem. However his cover is blown when Phantom Limb flies out of the building in a huge explosion. People run, screaming. Naturally.

DR. VENTURE
Wasn't me this time!

Back at the Compound Hank is in his Aquaman pajamas and crying in his bed. Brock walks in.

BROCK
Ahh, back to the high and tight, eh?

HANK
Yeah. I feel like the Jewish guy who lost all his powers when they cut his hair off.

BROCK
Uh, Samson?

HANK
Lenny Kravitz. It's not all about you, ya know.

BROCK
Yeah, well, you look good. Like your old Hank self again. Instead of always trying to be like, uh, well, me.

HANK
Pssh, jeeze. Conceited much?

BROCK
Look, you don't want my life, Hank. This job's not all it's cracked up to be. I've been at this for over twenty years and what do I have to show for it? A metal plate in my chest, Vatican karate gorilla blood on my hands and a footlocker full of Manboro miles?

HANK
Ohh! You got enough for the canoe?

BROCK
Wha? Well yeah, but will I ever live to see that canoe?

HANK
Can I have 'em?

BROCK
Look, you're missing the point, Hank! What I'm trying to tell you is even though you passed that test down there-

HANK
Wait, woah, wait! I did? Well then why did you- why did they reject me?

BROCK
Because if you wanna join SPHINX you need a high school diploma.

HANK
Ohhh. You know about that?

BROCK
I wouldn't be a very good spy if I didn't know, would I?

In frustration Hank knocks his head into the end of his bed. The screen lights up and a diploma is spit out, totally crumpled. Paper jam.

HANK
Hey! [holding up his diploma]

BROCK
Uhhh... did- did I mention that you also have to be eighteen?

HANK
Dawwwwww. [smacks his head into the bed multiple times]

Roll end credits.

Inside Impossible Industries Phantom Limb has regained his missing leg and arm.

PHANTOM LIMB
You've done it, Richard! You've replicated my original machine to a T! I'm whole again!

PROF. IMPOSSIBLE
The name's not Richard any more, Hamilton. From now on I'm... Professor Incorrigible.

PHANTOM LIMB
Ohh.

PROF. IMPOSSIBLE
Professor Indolent? Professor Infamous? Professor Indochina! No?

PHANTOM LIMB
They're all a bit... forced.

PROF. IMPOSSIBLE
Professor Inscrutable?

BARON UNDERBHEIT
[standing at the entrance to the office] Um. Excuse me. [clears throat] I want to join up with you guys.

Notes

  • This episode title is a play on Pomp and Circumstance which is actually a series of orchestral marches written by Sir Edward Elgar. The music commonly known as 'Pomp & Circumstance' is march number one of the six total marches. Marcus in the comments astutely points out that the tune is played when the beds dispense diplomas to Hank and Dean.

  • Potentially seen in the Council of Thirteen is Dr. Z, aka Dr. Zin, last seen in "Self-Medication" and before that in "The Buddy System" back in season three. The silhouette is similar to Dr. Z's and the voice is also the same. Mind you we have only actually seen two of the thirteen, with the rest having only a few lines here and there, and Dr. Z was a big player back in the days of Action Johnny, so it makes sense.

  • File cabinets seen near Phantom Limb's: Truckulese, Chairman Wow, Mommy Longlegs, Manta Claus, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch (with Dr. Girlfriend crossed out), Tigeriffic, The Monarch, Flying Squid.



  • Just in case there was any confusion (and I have seen a little), The Revenge Society is not sentient, they were just being manipulated by Phantom Limb's detached limbs which are apparently able to remain alive and mobile even after being removed from Phantom Limb's person (and apparently stored in his filing cabinet). He also appears to share a psychic link with them, which is how they are able to knock off the guards and rejoin with him. So there, the more you know about Phantom Limb's bizarre physiology.

  • WILHELM SCREAM ALERT: When Chuck offs one of the guards you can hear the scream blended in with other yelling sounds. Thanks to Victor Von Broom in the comments for pointing that out.

  • The photo Phantom Limb pulls out was last seen in "Now Museum -- Now You Don't!" as part of the museum exhibits. The photo was the first established connection between Jonas Venture Sr., Phantom Limb and Professor Impossible (the last two would also later go on to teach at State University). Many thanks to Pyroth in the comments for correcting my error here!

  • It's unclear who exactly pooped on the floor in the Council of Thirteen room, or why... or how. Some have suggested (probably accurately) that Phantom Limb perhaps did it as a sign of disrespect.

  • Hank mentions The Red Shoe Diaries which is an 'erotic drama series' that aired on Showtime from 1992 until 1997. Each episode of the series opened with the host Jake Winters (played by David Duchovny) walking some desolate train tracks and reading a letter written to 'Red Shoes', which was an ad printed in the personals section asking women to send in stories of love, passion and betrayal.

  • Hank also mentions David 'The Hulk' Banner, which refers to the main character in the 1970s and 80s TV series The Incredible Hulk. Normally the titular character's title name is simply Bruce Banner, but for the TV series it was changed to David in an attempt to differentiate it from the comics. Bruce did end up being Banner's middle name in the series however. Billy also notes that Banner is a scientist, which is true in the comics (nuclear physicist, specifically) but he's actually a medical researcher in the TV show.

  • The two versions of Batman Hank mentions as career options are Golden Age Batman, which refers to Batman during the Golden Age of comic books (which occurred from roughly the late 1930s until the late 1940s or early 1950s). This is when the archtype of the superhero was invented and created, with Batman being among the originals (Batman's first appearance was in Detective Comics #27, published in May of 1939). Post-Crisis Batman refers to Batman after the Crisis on Infinite Earths event which was a 12-part crossover series produced by DC in 1985 in an attempt to simplify it's extremely complicated and very old (fifty years) continuity. Basically at this point very few DC characters had any consistent backstory due to the various authors and liberties taken with characters, so Crisis on Infinite Earths was built as a way to simplify the entire thing. This is also not to be confused with anything post-Infinite Crisis which was the 2005 - 2006 follow-up to Crisis on Infinite Earths.

  • Hank does know some actual stuff though! Secutor is a class of gladiator thought to have originated around 50 AD. Oh, and they were specifically trained to fight Retiarius gladiators which even included a specialized helmet with small eye holes to prevent face stabs by a Retiarius' trident and a rounded top to prevent getting caught in his net.

  • Dean's top five career choices: 1) Boy Reporter 2) Boy Detective 3) Marine Biologist 4) Husband 5) Retiarius (later erased and replaced by Dr. Venture's 'Super Scientist').

  • Dr. Venture notes that the boys have been around the world 'more times than Gaëtan Dugas' which refers to the alleged patient zero for AIDS. Dugas was a flight attendant, homosexual and reportedly something of a sociopath and his job allowed him cheap travel all over the world and it is hypothesized (but not entirely proved) that he was, on some level, responsible for the spread of AIDS in North America. Dugas was confirmed by the CDC to be a link between a number of AIDS cases in California but a number of authorities on the spread of the AIDS epidemic have reservations about exactly how responsible Dugas was.

  • Billy mentions that the beds are teaching data more dated than Funk & Wagnalls which refers to the set of encyclopedias published by the company of the same name between 1894 and 1997. Obviously even the last set of those is extremely outdated today.

  • Baron Underbheit, or Ünderbheit if you want to be proper about it, returns! The good Baron was last seen losing control of his country (Ünderland) back in the season two episode "Love-Bheits" and now he's back and, uh, I guess a homeless guy in New York City. At least his loyal Manservant stayed with him.

  • Professor Impossible's storage of pee in jars is a reference to Howard Hughes who was a famous film director and producer, aviator, engineer and industrialist who famously had obsessive-compulsive disorder and perhaps even more famously spent four months in his own private screening room without ever leaving, bathing or eating anything except chocolate bars and milk. The most famous and enduring part of that episode is perhaps that he relieved himself in the empty milk containers.

  • Professor Impossible finds his fourth voice actor this season. After being voiced by Jackson Publick's brother Peter McCulloch in the pilot, Impossible's most well known voice was that of Stephen Colbert. However Colbert quit the series after season two and Jackson voiced him in "Now Museum -- Now You Don't!". For season four a brand new voice actor, Bill Hader of Saturday Night Live fame, was chosen to voice the good professor. Hader's past work includes five seasons on SNL as well as parts in Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express and Adventureland and he has also provided his talents to a few Adult Swim shows including Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Xaiver: Renegade Angel and Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!.

  • Impossible's arch is revealed in this episode to be Dr. Phineas Phage, who is a reference to bacteriophage which is a type of virus that only infects bacteria. They are among the most common biological entities on Earth and you tend to learn about them in high school biology because they are a good, easy to see examples of virus replication and structure. Plus they look kind of neat.

    Phage is also potentially a reference to Phineas Gage just because their names rhyme, though the two don't share much in common beyond their similar names (he's likely the result of Jackson and Doc's penchant for making up names for bad guys similar to those of actual famous people). Gage lived from 1823 until 1860 and is known for his survival of an accident where a large iron rod went through his head and destroyed a good portion of his brain's left frontal lobe. Gage's case is a fixture in neurology, psychology and related disciplines even though the facts known about Gage and the case are actually not overly plentiful. If nothing else you should check out the wiki article I linked to because it's fascinating. Thanks to LikeATimeBomb in the comments for pointing that one out.

  • In case you're wondering those gorillas are wearing proper Swiss Guard attire, though generally the Swiss Guard aren't gorillas. Currently the Papal Swiss Guard is the only Swiss Guard that still exists, and as such they protect Vatican City. Again, not usually gorillas, but who knows?

  • Much has been made of the rookie working with Brock. He's kept masked and his voice is difficult to understand (though he is voiced by Chris McCulloch if I'm not mistaken) but there seems to be some hint that he does have an identity or is otherwise important in some way. The Mysterious 'H' in the comments also notes that when the rookie attempts to short out the lock he ends up suspiciously safe from the Swiss Guard while Brock is right in their path. Just who this guy is certainly remains to be seen.

  • DK Miller in the comments also notes that Brock asked if the rookie was found at 'Albert Merrill school' which refers to "one of the for profit institutions that advertises on television promising a degree in some field of technology without the extra classes in arts and languages that public colleges offer. The sad fact is the majority of students never get anywhere close to graduating and are saddled with large student loans. The ones who do graduate are often lacking in any real useful technical knowledge and unable to find a job in their field. Being cannon fodder next to Brock would be a likely outcome for a graduate from such an institution."

    Rather than provide you to a link to how to enroll in the school or something I'll just let you watch this commercial for it from 1978.

  • Also back is Roy Brisby, owner of Brisby Land, his last major role way back in season one's episode "The Incredible Mr. Brisby". Many astute readers point out that he's also been seen as a background character since then, particularly in "Now Museum -- Now You Don't!" though this is potentially coincidental due to how background/crowd characters are handled by the show.

  • The Mysterious 'H' also notes that the GCI/Brisby/Impossible building (which Dr. Venture dislikes) is another Disney reference, this time based after the Walt Disney Concert Hall building in Los Angeles.

  • When Hank accidentally kills the power at SPHINX, Hunter says "Way to go, Heidi! Samson's down by three with a minute left in the game, and you just cut the feed!" which is a reference to the infamous 'Heidi game' between the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets that was famously cut off with a minute left in the game. The Jets has scored a field goal with 1:05 left to play putting them up 32 to 29. The Raiders would go on to score a touchdown twenty seconds later to take the lead and another one shortly after on a Jets fumble and end up winning the game 43 to 32. However NBC (the station airing the game) was set to air the film Heidi promptly at 7pm (partially due to a deal with Timex, the sole sponsor of the movie) and so the game was cut off with 1:01 left to play on the East Coast. This caused a huge controversy and ended up changing the way sporting events were aired on television. Thanks to hardyworld for mentioning this one!

  • Among the 'continents' Hank went to are outer space, Atlantis and Brigadoon. I'll spare you info about space and Atlantis, but DK Miller again points out in the comments that Brigadoon is a reference to a Lerner and Loewe musical of the same name. Specifically the town of Brigadoon is a Scottish village that mysteriously appears once every 100 years, though to the villagers the passage of this 100 years is the same as a single day.

  • This was covered at some point in the past but the Diamond Dogs are a reference to the 1974 David Bowie album of the same name. Sovereign (who we all know by now to be David Bowie) also mentions that his predecessor is someone by the name of Force Majeure. Force majeure itself is a common clause in contracts that basically allows either or both parties to opt out of the contract when faced with circumstances beyond their control such as war, flooding, riot, crime, earthquake and so on.

    Force Majeure is also an album by German electronic group Tangerine Dream as well as the first track on that album. You can listen to the titular track on YouTube if you'd like. This isn't really too relevant but it's potentially the place where the reference comes from.

  • I've seen a point of confusion on Phantom Limb running through the campus after he escapes from the Diamond Dogs, but if you look closely at his animation he's not actually running, he's hopping. He lost his prosthetic limbs while fighting the Diamond Dogs and resorted to hopping around. He did change clothes pretty fast and potentially at a very inopportune time, but he still only had one leg.

  • Hank and Brock's conversation at the end of the episode briefly mentions Lenny Kravitz and Samson who, as the story goes, had his hair cut and lost his great strength. Also he's got the same name as Brock's last name, so there's that.

  • Professor Indochina.

Episode Cast

James Urbaniak Dr. Venture
Phantom Limb
Patrick Warburton Brock Samson
Michael Sinterniklaas Dean Venture
Christopher McCulloch Hank Venture
Sgt. Hatred
Hunter Gathers
Dragoon
Watch
Roy Brisby
Doc Hammer Billy Quizboy
Shoreleave
Ward
Red Mantle
Bill Hader Professor Impossible
Phage
T. Ryder Smith Baron Underbheit
Dean Harris
Otto Aquarius
Paul Boocock Jonas Venture Sr.
University President
Homeless Vet

Screencaps

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